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to hawaii, president obama said he met individually with leaders of the house and senate, asking them to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans. >> this is something within our capacity to solve. it doesn't take that much work. we just have to do the right thing. so call me a hopeless optimist, but i still think we can get it done. >> earlier in the day, speaker boehner held a news conference. a vote on his so-called plan "b" was scrapped thursday night when it became clear it did not have enough support among house republicans to secure passage. >> a situation where because of the political divide in the country, because of the divide here in washington, trying to bridge these differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i'll guarantee you this would have been done decades before. >> joining me now, congressional reporter for "the washington post," ed o'keefe. good to see you. >> good to see you too. any kind of realistic timetable that this will be done before january 1st? >> what the president is most concerned about now, making sure unemployme
their profits. >>> president obama's in hawaii today where he and the first family will spend christmas. but the president says he will return to the white house after the holiday to continue working on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. joining me now, white house editor from politico, rachel smolkin. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> holiday red there, rachel. i will begin with you. is there any realistic timetable where a deal gets done beforian 1? look at the calendar. >> there's a realistic timetable but not an optimistic timetable. not a lot of holiday cheer going on in the nation's capital. after the stunning is heback speaker boehner suffered this week in the house where he could not get his own plan through. had to pull it and because he didn't have the votes. we saw president obama acknowledge yesterday before leaving for his vacation that the deal would -- would dramatically narrow. the parameters of a deal, scope of any possible deal, much smaller than we were looking at even a week ago. he said he would still be open to the big deal but the reality is we are running ou
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